Mental Health Support for Killingly Students to Be Discussed at Board of Ed. Meeting Tonight

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The Killingly Board of Education meeting on Wednesday is expected to take up the issue of mental health support services for students. This comes after a state investigation into the district decision to reject more mental health resources for students.

It's a topic that's been talked about for quite some time. Once again, parents and students in the Killingly community are going to have their say as the Board of Education will potentially vote on mental health support services for the high school.

Here's how we got to this moment.

About two weeks ago, parents packed the school board meeting to the let their voices be heard. This was coming after the State Education Commissioner sent the district a letter saying it was starting an investigation into whether the Killingly Board is providing a "safe school setting."

This dates back to March after the Killingly Board of Education rejected a plan to bring a school-based mental health center to the high school even though a survey found about 15 percent of students admitted to having made a suicide plan.

With this growing debate, there are still differing opinions.

“This board is making dangerous decisions for our students and destructive to our public education system," said Heidi Driscoll, of Killingly.

“I’m all for mental health and yes, there is problem. However, I believe with peer mediation, I think this is a better alternative to a school-based health center,” said Jasmine Berti, of Killingly.

There are board members who are pushing for the center to be set up for a one year pilot program while others and the superintendent talked about other possibilities including hiring new staff and therapists, bringing in special programs and telehealth. That could be voted on at the next meeting.

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